Mumbai: It can't be said with any certainty as to what visuals of Rajasthan Royals we're likely to see on a given day. Plantation around them or arid land? Occasionally, they add fresh notes to their ear-pleasing folk beat of batting. Then there are days when even chasing down 155 seems a tall order. Their bowlers, despite the 20-year-old wonder Kartik Tyagi going for 10 an over, did a commendable job of restricting Delhi Capitals to 154/6.
Mustafizur Rahman and Chetan Sakariya, who returned two wickets each, more than compensated for Tyagi's off-day. But the RR batsmen couldn't even deliver a steady, if not a spectacular, performance during the chase to fall short by 33 runs. Skipper Sanju Samson played a lone hand with an unbeaten 70.
Rajasthan Royals' Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara believed David Miller could have avoided taking on Ravichandran Ashwin especially when the side had lost a couple of wickets early. Miller stepped out to Ashwin, he of skills and cunning. Ashwin landed it just a touch outside off, deceiving Miller in flight, and Rishabh Pant had it easy behind the sticks. Royals never recovered after losing three wickets for 17 in the first five overs. “I think you can look at Miller's dismissal in a couple of ways. He is an attacking player and this is a shot he usually plays. Unfortunately, he was up against a really smart bowler with a lot of experience. Probably right, it was not the ideal situation to take a risk, for we had lost a couple of wickets. But that's T20,” said Sangakkara.
“I think it was a tough one for Samson, he was batting well. All we needed was someone to stay with him, and unfortunately losing wickets regularly did not allow Sanju to run free early on. The Delhi boys bowled smartly and they managed to stay away from areas of Sanju's strengths. We can go back and analyse whichever way, we should have chased down 154 with the batting we had, and we were just not good enough,” he added.
Lamenting the defeat, Samson said, “A target of 155 with the quality of batsmen we have, I thought it was chaseable. We had the batting to go after it. The emotions are on the higher side, we'll think about it in the morning. The pitch was not that slow. It was holding up, but if we had a few wickets in hand we could have got the over the line.”
DC quick Anrich Nortje, who had figures of 2/18, did suggest that the Abu Dhabi wicket was sluggish. “It (the Abu Dhabi wicket is definitely slower than Dubai. We were expecting it as well. We had a day game, so it was not going to be quick. Either it will be slow or very slow. Variations on good length is a very good option. Hitting the hard length is not easy. Just try and hit the stumps. Shorter deliveries and half-volleys are easier to hit so I was just trying to hit a good length,” he said.
“We thought it was a good score. It was quite difficult to score out there. We had discussions on what would be difficult to score and we just stuck to it,” said Nortje.
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TEAM M W L PT
DC 10 8 2 16
CSK 9 7 2 14
RCB 9 5 4 10
KKR 9 4 5 8
PBKS 10 4 6 8
MI 9 4 5 8
RR 9 4 5 8
SRH 9 1 8 2
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